Harry Potter and the 15 Year Anniversary

by Kierstin Flickinger

Staff Writer & Reporter

On October 13th, 2011, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone debuted in theatres all around the United States, meaning that this month marks the 15 year anniversary of the beginning of the very successful franchise that is the Harry Potter series.

Harry Potter follows the protagonist of the same name after the magical discovery that he is a wizard. At the famous Wizarding-school called Hogwarts, Harry Potter meets his best friends, Ron and Hermione, and goes on many adventures. Sometimes they are exciting, but most of the time, they are due to the unfortunate prophecy placed upon Harry Potter as a young child by Lord Voldemort, also known as the darkest wizard of all time.

The story has dark themes of loss, tremendous times of happiness, and is considered nearly around the world to be one of the best series of books around the globe. All seven of the novels in the series are in the top ten best sellers ever in Great Britain, even though the original novel had been denied by nine publishers before being taken on by Bloomsbury, according to a tweet sent out by JK Rowling on March 23rd, 2015.

Within four years of writing the first novel, JK Rowling had been in the process of casting the actors and actresses who would help bring her Wizarding World to life. Daniel Radcliffe was chosen to play Harry Potter and is now the richest person under 30 years old in Great Britain.

The series is one that many people across the world have grown up with and are very invested in. Alex Heyer, a sophomore and Administration of Justice major, is one of these people. “I don’t recall if I saw the movie in theatres, but I do remember watching it on VHS tape,” he said when asked about the 15 year anniversary of the first movie in the series. He also said that he is from the Gryffindor House of the Harry Potter world, the same house which Harry Potter himself was in.

The similarities with the magical hero do not stop there. Heyer stated that throughout his school years, he was reminded of the series as he was compared to the protagonist time and time again. “My grandmother also loved the series, and it brought us very closely together.” This is not unlike the stories of others. Personally, my younger brother and I watch the series together often. At holidays, it is not untypical of us to exchange gifts that are Harry Potter themed.

“The world is truly magical,” Heyer said, when speaking about how immersed he would get when reading or watching the series. “It [Harry Potter] has always been a major part of my life. There’s a lot of different meanings that can be taken from the series that have helped me through hard times.” Like many others, Heyer has known the series ever since he was a young child, growing up with the story as a guidance through the years.

Rowling has not been slowed down, even with seven novels and eight movie adaptations under her belt, she announced last year that she would be publishing the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child which was released on July 31st (Harry Potter’s birthday) this year. She is also behind the story for

Comic Relief, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which is being released as a movie on November 18th, starring Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander.

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